Jeb Bush: GOP will be 'yearning for new leadership' in 2024

Former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said he expects that the Republican Party will be “yearning for a new generation of leaders” in the 2024 presidential election. 

Bush told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview on Thursday that he believes room will exist in the Republican base for candidates other than former President Trump in the next presidential election. 

He said he expects the party will want candidates who are “focused on the future” and not the “grievances of the past.” 

“Whether or not the former president runs or not, I have no clue. He’ll be formidable, but there’ll be other candidates that will be able to make their case for sure,” Bush said. 

Trump has repeatedly hinted that he plans to launch a third bid for the White House and has said that when he decides to announce his decision is a bigger question than whether he chooses to run. 

Bush was responding to comments former Vice President Mike Pence made on Wednesday at an event at Georgetown University, where he hinted that he may be considering a run. A student asked Pence if he would vote for Trump in 2024 if the former president wins the nomination, and Pence responded that “there might be somebody else I prefer more.” 

Bush said he is unsure about Pence’s plans, but his guess is that Pence will run, and he said Pence is well-qualified for office. 

Bush ran in the 2016 presidential election and was considered a top contender for the Republican nomination at the start of the election cycle, but his polling numbers gradually dropped as Trump’s rose. Bush withdrew from the primaries in February and refused to endorse Trump after he became the apparent Republican nominee that year. 

Bush told Tapper that the current governor of Florida and another rumored potential 2024 candidate, Ron DeSantis (R), has done a “great job” as governor and led the state effectively. He praised DeSantis’s COVID-19 response, education policies and protection of natural resources. 

He said DeSantis has broad appeal outside of Florida because he has attacked cultural issues that are present in the Republican mindset. 

DeSantis has received national attention and some controversy as he has signed a series of laws that target key cultural issues that have become part of the national conversation. 

He signed a bill in March to restrict classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in primary schools and signed another piece of legislation, known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” that prohibits instruction that could make some feel “personal responsibility” for historic wrongdoings based on race, sex or national origin. 

The WOKE in the legislation’s name is an acronym for “Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees.” Opponents of the law have expressed concerns that it can be enforced to limit instruction of the country’s history with race, including slavery and the civil rights movement. 

Bush said he does not know about the enforceability of the legislation, but he believes a middle ground exists on the issue. 

He said he supports that DeSantis has expanded parental choice in education and put more money in the state’s budget for literacy-based efforts. 

But Bush said some of the law is “making a political point to push back on wokeness in general.”